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I'm trying to understand something when exporting map as PDF file in Esri's ArcGIS for Desktop.

  1. The ability to choose paper size.

  2. The ability to choose DPI.

Thought that those are printer parameters. Supposedly when I export a map to the computer the only parameters whom need to set are paper ratio and pixel number for chosen ratio.

Before exporting I will check if my screen can handle this amount of pixels on this ratio (DPI and screen size) and my printer with this amounts of dots on a given paper size (DPI).

So DPI and paper size are properties of the printer not of the PDF file itself.

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    It's not clear what your question is--maybe edit your submission with a clear question statement. But yes, the paper size and dpi refer to properties of the printed page, and are not properties of the pdf file itself. – Jon May 29 at 13:52
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    The purpose is that the texts would appear about as big with different printing resolutions. – user30184 May 29 at 14:30
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    Also I dont know why but even for 100% vector export setting an higher dpi result in a better export (meaning the shape stay closer to what they should be) – J.R May 29 at 15:26
  • dots per inch dpi - the more dots you can fit in an inch. the bigger the file will be for pdf (1200 dpi is the common limited to laser printers for the colour black) 300-600 dpi is probably the best you will get and be noticeable. – Mapperz May 29 at 18:47
  • As @Mapperz said, dpi is dots per inch and this setting affects the resolution of an image stored in a pdf. The higher the dpi resolution, the larger the file size. ArcMap Desktop tends to convert vectors to raster images (columns and rows of dots) if any component of the output results in an image, such as an orthophoto background or even text with halos. Only an output that is made up exclusively of vectors will respect the 100% vector export setting. ArcGIS Pro is supposed to do a better job of preserving vectors in its pdfs even when other portions of the output generate images. – Richard Fairhurst May 29 at 23:54

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